Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Will anyone watch Olympic Judo?

The Mail on Sunday recently reviewed the book “The Pyjama Game: A Journey into Judo” I am not going to repeat the whole article but just take a section which summarise Judo exactly.

“One of the main sports hardly anyone will watch at the next Olympics will Judo, nor did they in Athens, Sidney, Atlanta or Barcelona. Nor will they, very likely, in London 201”

“To the untrained eye, the flurry of white cotton as a pair of Judoka grapple with one another looks about exciting as a laundry on spin cycle. Add to that Japanese terminology, complex rules, terrible staging and impenetrable scoring system and you understand why Judo is never going to capture the nations imagination like football”

“I am not sure it will be given many of us to understand sentences such as, Reissman threw himself up into the air before being thrown with a wonderful Uchi Mata Sukashi, for which amazingly Kashi only received Waza-ari”

These are a few examples from the article but it does high light what the ordinary layman thinks of our Combat Discipline. I believe Judo only needs few minor things to make it more popular 1) Coloured Judogi 2) Judo boots similar to those worn in Sombo 3) Change Japanese competition terminology i.e Koka become 1pt indicated with a closed fist and a thumb, Yuko becomes 2 points indicated with thumb and finger, Waza-ari becomes 5pts indicted by full open hand, Ippon is 10pts is a Total Victory indicated as current. 4) points are accumulative whoever gets a 10pt majority or scores a Total Victory wins.

I say these are minor points yet the traditionalist will accuse me of heresy, yet I have suggested changing the basic ethos of Judo Kata, grading etc should all remain. Judo is slowly dying and needs someone to bring it line with the 21st Century, what Judo needs is a Kerry Packer (he was the man who changed one day Cricket)

Interested in my Summer Camp go to